Tag Archives: museum Termas-da-Azenha

Stresslevels, before and after

I’ve been accustomed to stressed faces for years.

When people arrive here.

For the good observer the price of the year-round competing, running and hurrying can be seen on the parental faces. The children are not yet that far, and usually they also have something to swipe in their hands, so they’re sweet.

I always think it’s a revelation to see the difference after a few days

I have sometimes thought of making a photo series: “before” and “after”. That’s of course not possible.

You can’t ask that of people you never met before.

“Hello, welcome to the Termas! It’s nice to have you! Can I take a picture?”

That’s a bit strange, right at your arrival.

And it’s not only the stress of the whole year, but also of preparing everything, packing everything, thinking about everything, and arranging everything.

There’s still a lot on the shoulders of women

Mother is still usually the one who arranges for the cat to be accommodated somewhere, that the plants get water, that the passports are okay-ed, that the children pick out the things they want to take with them, etc. etc.

The list is long. Differs per family, of course. Differs per holiday

If you go skiing you take other things with you when you go to a 5 star resort on a tropical island.

I don’t have any idea what to take when you go skiing (nor even 5 star resorts on tropical islands), but I do know what you have to take care of as an average family on an average holiday, what you have to arrange and what to think about.

And to serve you, there is a list here

Hopefully it’s useful, and it helps against small scares in the middle of the holiday as: “Oi, my anti-allergy wasp set is still on the table. Forgotten!”

Perhaps a reassurance: we have such a set here. Because well, here out in the fields there are sometimes wasps between all the butter- and dragonflies …

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

The target group

I regularly think about it, but I have not been finding the right answer for years.

I know who our target group is not.

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Example? Those people who are counting the threads in the sheets. Not those.

Or those types that find towels of Marks and Spencer’s far below their dignity.

Or people who think they deserve it all: “Because you’re worth it.

Not them. That automatically selects itself, because those people don’t like it here.

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Old houses covered with pieces of tile. What’s fun about that? They don’t see the history, the beauty and all the space. Why? I think: because they don’t have any imagination, nor fantasy or playfulness.

Those people need it for their self-esteem that they drive around in a new expensive car in the latest fashion color with silver edges around the windows. This year again: black – nice in a warm climate.

No problem, as long as it gives status, and the air conditioning is on anyway.

This indicates that you are an Important Person, an I-P

Who’s worth it. And – to keep this hopefully amusing muttering going on a bit – they have to go to a luxury hotel to achieve that. “Usually we go for four or five stars, so yes, this is something else”, a blonde lady in her fourties once said to me, in a well-rehearsed childish voice, and when I saw the big bags under her eyes, I immediately agreed with her.

She had to relax urgently and immediately, do nothing more demanding then browse through a glossy, because it was noticeable that she had a hard life being sophisticated and cool. It takes a lot to be an Important Person! You have to sacrifice something for that.

Is vacation only about luxury?

I think it’s very important what you need at that given moment. There are times when it (life) eats you alive, and that you want to go away. Then such a ***** hotel is very nice. A box spring in a beige room (*), a swimming pool with a gargoyle, a massage and yes please, all-in. Nothing else. No surprises, just predictable, and the same everywhere in the world.

Yes, and internet of course. Hey. How could you do without.

We on the other hand have things to offer that five stars never can or do

We have no stars except that huge amount in the night sky. Or the two mosaiced ones on our kitchen floor.

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And in the spring fireflies – flickering floating little stars that give you the feeling that you’ve landed in a fairy tale. We don’t offer luxury, but comfort.

“Hi Ellen, just an email from me. I’m back home, but not yet completely landed. I have to recover from this holiday – what an experience! I’ve never felt so comfortable anywhere. I am fully charged again from messing around in your garden, as you called it, from the mosaicing, from walking around the Termas, and from those cozy conversations in between. Sometimes about nothing, sometimes about the meaning of life. Very nice, and I’ll definitely come back! And then I’ll take my daughters with me. I hope you can handle that, four women Johnson! “

We once had a guest who didn’t want to go for a day of canoeing on the Mondego with his whole family, but rather stayed here to turn the compost heap upside down. That had his full interest. Somebody has ever been, who said on his third day: “I’m not so much of a sitting person, and we’re here for two weeks. Now I will do my girlfriend a favor, and I will keep quiet and celebrate my first week of holiday, but then I really want to do something. Don’t you have something to build? ”

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And then we all went to throw a floor in the house-without-roof that became the FairyTaleTerrace. He had never had such a good holiday. And the best: his girlfriend too.

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Thanks again, T!

There were people working in the garden, making jam, or delicious dinners; once a guest has sewn a beautiful dress, and there have been many who also wanted to glue along a bit with the mosaics. And then we have not even included the pure fun that the FancyDressingRoom produces.

You can’t do those things in a five star hotel. I think: not in any hotel

So yes, my conclusion is actually kind of: our target group consists of people who like to do something during their holidays. Who want to go their own way. They’ll read if they want to read, they’ll mess around if they want to mess around, they’ll go for a swim … well, you understand now.

I guess you catch my drift.

Because they are creative souls.

I say in a trumpy way: we have the best guests. Really fine guests. The best of all.

(*) We claim the term beige room, that stands for: everywhere and always the same with no surprises

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Broken mower? Doesn’t matter

There is a big stain on the floor of the adega under the mower. I pretend not to see it. I grab what I need and go.

Then I leave it back in the workshop

There is a big stain under the mower on the floor of the workshop. I pretend not to see it. I take what I need and go.

But if the mower doesn’t start, it stops. Then it can no longer be ignored. Two stains means: leaks. He’s leaking. Oil or petrol. Both not good. No matter what, because he doesn’t work either way.

“Doesn’t matter”, I say to myself, “we just go to the mower repairer, and then I can take a meia de leite and a bolo as comfort in the pastelaria on the way.”

“Doesn’t matter” becomes more and more my motto

If you have a village to maintain (6 houses, 4 rooms, a bathhouse and 2.5 hectares of land) then it’s nice if you can remain somewhat stoic. So I train myself to be unaffected and positive.

Tablesaw blunt? Doesn’t matter, we just bring it to the carpentry workshop on the other side of the valley. And wait for a week.

Those nice shoes, which I ordered on the internet, just a bit too small? Bad luck, but doesn’t matter, they can go to the FancyDressingRoom.

A reservation of 3 weeks will not happen after a long correspondence with many questions (“After long hesitation, we have chosen for France“)? Too bad, doesn’t matter, it was for the end of July so there will be other candidates.

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After a wet spring finally time to mow, but then the mower is broken? Doesn’t matter, we have three of those, so I’ll take another one.

And then I’ll go to Senhor Mário the mower repairer, a very nice man, who knows a lot about those things

I am not enthusiastically greeted, and I can understand that. The floor of his workshop is littered with broken mowers. Senhor Mário apparently has enough to do. “Não tenho pressa – I’m not in a hurry”, I say reassuringly, because I don’t want to burden the man more than he apparently already is. He also has problems with his health, he says; all those broken machines and he himself as well.

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He must apparently vent a bit. That’s fine, we all need that sometimes

The “no rush” approach always works. It’s also true – I can take another mower, so I’m really in no hurry. After a week I get a call that he is ready.

“It was nothing”, says Senhor Mário now almost radiant, “the screws of the tank were a bit loose … vibration of course …. and I have … a very technical story that I don’t understand at all .... the carburetor is now also re-sharpened …”

It was nothing, and it doesn’t cost anything, despite the fact that Senhor Mário apparently was busy with it for a while.

That doesn’t fall in the category “Doesn’t matter” – that is great class!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....